15 Leading International Organizations Announce Joint Climate Neutrality Commitment At COP24

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A group of 15 leading international organizations, including six global development banks, announced on the sidelines of the COP24 UN climate change conference a joint commitment to make their operations climate neutral.

Announced at the COP24 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland on Wednesday, the 15 international organizations committed to carbon neutrality by promising to measure their greenhouse gas emissions, reduce them where possible, and compensate the unavoidable ones with credible carbon credits — a not so insignificant commitment, considering that, together, the organizations produce over 2 million tonnes of CO2 annually and boast more than 50,000 staff.

Some of the participating organizations have already achieved climate neutrality status, while others are only beginning to make the commitment, and a few are expanding existing sustainable commitments.

The 15* international organizations committing to climate neutrality include:

  1. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Secretariat
  2. Common Markets for Eastern and Southern Africa Secretariat (COMESA)
  3. Eastern Africa Development Bank (EADB)
  4. Western Africa Development Bank (BOAD)
  5. Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  6. Pacific Community
  7. ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability
  8. European Investment Bank (EIB)
  9. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
  10. Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat
  11. Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
  12. International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
  13. Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE)
  14. World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)

In addition to achieving carbon neutrality and demonstrating their commitment to climate action, the represented organizations hope their actions will serve as an inspiration for other institutions and organizations to follow. The organizations will look to a number of mechanisms to achieve their climate neutral goals, including installing solar PV systems, upgrading building insulation and lighting systems, reducing paper use, installing energy efficient cooling systems, and the introduction of social policies impacting aspects such as air travel, car transport, and others.

This new commitment is, in and of itself, inspired in part by the actions of agencies throughout the United Nations system which, in 2007, adopted their own strategy and roadmap towards climate neutrality by 2020. Thus, over half of all UN system entities are now climate neutral, representing 39% of total UN emissions — including the UN Headquarters in New York, which achieved climate neutrality for the first time this year.

*The 15th organization was either left off the list or a mistake has been made; The United Nations Environment Programme did not respond for clarification. This article will be updated if and when clarification is provided. 

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Joshua S Hill

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.

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